United States Federal Bureau of Investigation will begin releasing the Bola Tinubu files at the end of October according to media reports
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will begin releasing the Bola Tinubu files at the end of October according to a report in the Nigerian Peoples Gazette.
According to the Gazette, the FBI told the District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C that it had identified “a total of approximately 2500 pages potentially responsive to FOIA requests 1553430-00 and 1587544-000.”
The premier American crime fighting and prevention agency further told the court that it will release about 500 pages a month beginning of November and ending March 2024.
“FBI plans a processing schedule of 500 pages per month, with an initial release anticipated by the end of October 2023.” It stated.
The surprise announcement comes following the conclusion of the G-21 summit in India where the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu met US President Joe Biden on the sidelines. The FBI was initially reluctant to turn over the documents in line with a freedom of information request first filed in 2022 by Aaron Greenspan who runs PlainSite, a website that pushes anti-corruption and transparency in public service.
The files are expected to shed more light on the controversial issues surrounding the Nigerian president. From his visa application to when he entered the U.S., under which name he entered and all activities he has been involved in ever since.
Tinubu spent decades in the United States, appearing to have first moved there in the 1970s. More details about his forfeiture of $460,000 over drug dealing in Chicago in the 1980s are also expected to be among the records to be released.
According to the Peoples Gazette, Tinubu’s background has remained a mystery for most citizens as questions about his real parents and childhood education have not been answered.
Alongside the FBI, the U.S. State Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have all indicated readiness to turn over thousands of pages of Bola Tinubu-related records. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also said it was collating records of Tinubu for release in compliance with the law.
Effective October, the State Department said it would start turning over 450 pages every six weeks from its archive on Tinubu.
The development comes as Tinubu’s prior claims around his admission into Chicago State University (CSU) come under additional scrutiny with a fresh lawsuit by Atiku Abubakar, his main challenger at the 2023 presidential election.
The Gazette reported only last week that Tinubu gained admission to study business administration (with a major in accounting) using his 1970 O’Level results based strictly on high school science subjects — physics, chemistry and biology.
In 2022, CSU sent records to Nigerian attorney Mike Enahoro-Ebah, based on a subpoena to the institution, that showed a female Bola Tinubu attended CSU and studied the same course as the Nigerian leader.
The 2022 records showed that a Bola Tinubu had graduated from the school on July 27, 1979, which the school dubbed a clerical error and said the correct date is July 22, 1979, fuelling suspicions that the school might be in on a cover-up for Tinubu.
Tinubu had already presented a certificate that Abubakar’s lawyers said might have been fabricated because the officials who signed the records were not at the school when Tinubu graduated in 1979 or in 2022 when a reprint was issued.
Abubakar, first runner-up in the February 25 polls, believes he can nullify Tinubu’s election victory by presenting records that would show the name, date of birth and gender under which Bola Tinubu secured admission and graduated at CSU.
Already, Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago scheduled September 12 to hear in-person arguments of the lawyers of Tinubu, Abubakar, and CSU and clarify the scope of the subpoena of Tinubu’s academic records to be turned over to Abubakar.
Akowe in Abuja with materials from Peoples’s Gazette